Personal Rating: 9/10.
This book can best be described as a “velvet-colored brick." It is extremely unfortunate to me that Douglas Wilson enjoys aggravating his detractors. I don’t understand thus joy because I don’t many readers. Lol. (Hi fam!) If you can get passed the over-the-top way Douglas says things, there is actually a lot of really great content in this book. I have read enough of his writing to see passed his winsome tartness. He's actually rather brilliant and insightful. He and I don't agree on various theological points, but this doesn't mean we cannot agree in some places. The main things we agree on are: Jesus is Lord, We need more God-honoring Men.
Wilson says a lot about men being the leader in the home and in many other areas of society. This is not because he sees women as lesser, only different. He advocates women are needed desperately in other places. He enjoys saying all this really loudly whenever a feminist is in the room. However, if everyone could hear what he says, it would make every man quake and every woman smile.
Wilson challenges every man to lay down his life for his wife. He is to sacrifice everything for his family. It is the adventure of a lifetime. I cannot think of any woman who wouldn’t quickly become a 1950s “housewife” (which he nor I are actually advocating) and serve a man like the one Douglas Wilson calls on each man to become.
This book instructs men to "die a good death" every day and end up defeating the dragon and saving the princess.
Marriage is not a vending machine, and love is not two quarters to put into it. It's a manner of life, not an exchange of commodities. So what does it look like when a man loves a woman?" Douglas Wilson answers that question in How To Exasperate Your Wife and Other Short Essays for Men, and his responses are as wide-ranging and humorous as they are incisive and down to earth. He explains why men's distorted view of wisdom handicaps their understanding of their wives, and he exposes rigid (and wrong) approaches to marriage and relationships. He gives practical advice for identifying unhappy households ("Mom is ignored") and replacing abdicating dads with true leaders ("Measure strength not in decibels but performance"), all combined with hot tips on how to exasperate your wife (you may start with leopard underwear).
Both realistic and insightful, How to Exasperate Your Wife and Other Short Essays for Men points husbands (and wives) towards a passionate married love that is particular, sacrificial, sacramental, and muy caliente.
"Marriage is not a vending machine, and love is not two quarters to put into it. It's a manner of life, not an exchange of commodities. So what does it look like when a man loves a woman?"
“A husband must be hard in order to take on masculine responsibility. A husband must be soft in order to avoid crushing those for whom he is responsible. Maintaining these twin imperatives in balance requires great wisdom, far more than men may have apart from the grace of God.”
“What is biblical masculinity? It is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility.”